Whether you’re starting your own business or managing a startup, there are plenty of stresses that are you going to weigh on you as an entrepreneur. The day-to-day grind of your company, coupled with concerns over its long-term growth, can wear you down if you’re not careful. You don’t want to burn out just as you’re starting to get momentum and you don’t want to feel overwhelmed by stress when you should be focused on new opportunities. Here are 9 tips to handle the stress of being an entrepreneur that you need to keep in mind.
Entrepreneurs are putting in plenty of hours at the office so make sure you’re setting a few aside to get in some exercise. Whether you use it as a chance to balance yourself with yoga, sweat out your issues at the gym, or turn your brain off for a bit on a run, there are numerous benefits that come with bringing physical fitness into your daily routine.
Even if it’s just for ten or fifteen minutes, it can do wonders to help you let go of the stress of the day and loosen up a bit. Even a quick walk around the block can help you reset and feel recharged. According to one entrepreneur, Zach Tetley from Nexus Homebuyers, he finds that “going for a swim every morning helps me clear my mind and prepare for the day. I find that without any electronic devices, I’m able to focus on my business without any distractions.”
It really cannot be overstated how powerful a good night’s sleep can be for entrepreneurs. We know it can be hard to consider sleeping for seven or eight hours given everything you have to accomplish, but it really will pay off for you in the long run. Researchers have found that the amount you sleep has an impact on memory, learning ability, metabolism, and even your immune functions. Sure, there will be days when you have to burn the midnight oil, but make sure you’re accounting for that over time or it’s bound to catch up with you one way or another.
One of the easiest ways to handle the stress that comes with running a business is to find capable people you trust who can help shoulder the burdens. You’ll never be able to accomplish everything yourself, so if you can, bring on talented, trustworthy employees who can take on some of the responsibilities you’re dealing with.
According to Jason Ault with Element Homebuyers, “by clearing the load, it allows you to focus better on the major issues while knowing that other concerns are being taken care of by someone else. Of course, there’s a learning curve involved, especially if you’re a control freak, but the more you can delegate, the less stressed you’ll be.”
This one is dependent on your own situation but if it’s at all possible try to separate your family and friends from the business as much as possible. It’s inevitable that a loan or free help from those you’re close to is going to be on your mind when you’re making decisions and spending money. If you’re worried about repaying a loan to your father-in-law or making sure your friends feel rewarded for the hard work they’ve done for your business, that’s going to compound what is already a stressful situation, to begin with. If you can find a way to go it without involving loved ones, that’s going to help remove at least one concern from the ever-growing list.
One of the toughest things for a budding entrepreneur to do is put a hard boundary on their work life. But if it’s possible to create a separation between when you work and when you don’t, it’s going to have a profound effect on your stress levels and the overall state of mind. If setting cutoff times is too difficult, consider creating goals for yourself each day. Once those goals have been achieved, it’s time to turn off. Or perhaps you wear a piece of clothing like a hat or a sweater to demarcate whether you’re “on” or “off.” It may sound silly but whatever works for you will help cut into your stress and keep you grounded.
They say a problem shared is a problem halved. There’s no reason you have to go it alone even if you’re a one-person company. Find fellow entrepreneurs out there in your community or online and connect with them. Chances are, they’re dealing with similar struggles and stresses. Who better to help you understand yours than people going through the same thing each day? You’ll likely find that not only is it helpful for dealing with stress but you might even discover some new opportunities through the networking.
“Networking with other entrepreneurs has been beneficial for us in finding other people who might be facing similar challenges that you are facing” Josh Martin from Cream City Home Buyers mentions, “you can help each other solve some of one another’s issues in your business and you usually find you’re overthinking it. Getting a second set of eyes and especially someone who is experienced is extremely helpful.”
Yes, you’ve embarked on starting a business and that’s going to eat into most of your free time. But it shouldn’t take up all of it. A great idea to help give yourself a break and de-stress is to get a hobby for the time in-between. If you can find something active or hands-on that allows you to shift gears and remove yourself from the business, even for a short time, that’s going to have a big effect on your overall state of mind. Also, hobbies are fun! Make sure you’re having some fun to remind yourself what the point of all this is, especially at times when it might feel like the grind of starting a company is wearing on you.
Ever find yourself in a stressful situation that you don’t know the answer to? You just can’t figure it out right now and you’re getting more and more frustrated? That’s when it’s great to have a journal or a place where you can write down what’s going on. Get it all out and put it somewhere that you can come back to later. By unloading everything from your brain and letting it go for a short time, it gives you a chance to reset and gain some perspective. Also, journaling is a fantastic outlet for your emotions and feelings. You don’t have to worry about getting it perfect, just write how you’re feeling and let that be a guide for how to move forward later on. It also works as a great way to create a to-do list for yourself so you feel like you have a bit more structure.
As entrepreneurs, we may find ourselves feeling overwhelmed, tense, and anxious on a weekly or sometimes daily basis. One of the best ways to cope with the stress of being an entrepreneur is to find a quiet place and clear your mind through meditation. You can practice meditation anywhere and don’t need any fancy tools or devices. In fact devices actually make it harder to meditate, so remove any electronic devices during meditation.
When you meditate, you clear away the information overload you may experience as an entrepreneur. You are able to increase self awareness, focus on the present, reduce negative emotions, increase imagination and creativity, and increase patience and tolerance.